How Long Does It Take To Produce Breast Milk? + Breastfeeding FAQs
A lot of things tend to happen after a mother gives birth to her child. Apart from the fact that she’s in awe of how the whole process went, there’s a lot more. A mother would have to adjust to the changes in her body. Also, she would have to deal with caring for a newborn. One of the major things she would have to get used to is breastfeeding. Many mothers though have very little knowledge as to what breastfeeding is all about. And that’s why they ask a lot of questions. One out of the many questions is how long does it take to produce breast milk.
Breastfeeding is a natural process wherein the baby is fed with breast milk. Mothers are advised to breastfeed their babies for at least 6 months. And there’s a reason for that. Breast milk is known to contain nutrients that are needed for the growth and development of the child. But that’s not all there is to it. Even the mother benefits from this. She can build a stronger bond with the child during this period. Well, that’s not our main topic for today. We will be looking at how long the production of milk can take. And also answers to many other questions about breastfeeding. So keep reading to find out more.
How Long Does It Take To Produce Breast Milk
The production of breast milk in the body is one interesting process. The body produces breast milk depending on the demand of your baby. process. The rate at which breast milk is produced is dependent on the need of the body. And also at different stages in breastfeeding, there are changes as to breast milk production. Let’s take a look at it.
From the very first day of birth, there should be feeding of the baby. The process of your baby latching on and sucking the breast would lead to the production of milk. The first milk produced is known as colostrum. It’s advised that if you can breastfeed your child during the first hour do it. This helps increase the baby’s interest in feeding.
A few days after delivery there is the production of breast milk. The hormone that is abundant when a person is pregnant is prolactin. After production, it starts to reduce. And hormones like insulin, prolactin, and hydrocortisone starts to increase. An increase in these hormones would lead to firmer and fuller breasts. This indicates that there is an increase in the production of milk.
Once the milk inside the breast is drained, it is usually replaced. So this means that the more you feed your baby or the more your baby eats the more milk production.
Let’s take a look at some of the common questions asked about breastfeeding.
1. When should I start breastfeeding?
It’s advised that you start as early as the first hour of birth. That’s because when you breastfeed your child as early as this it helps with the wakefulness of the child. Normally, when the baby is alert for the first few hours, the baby would go back to sleep for like 24 hours. And this might make it difficult for your baby to feed after the first few hours. For the first few days, your baby would feed basically on demand. And this would be around 1-3 hours both in the day and night. As they grow their stomach gets bigger and they can take in more milk.
2. How do I know when my baby is hungry?
Many people think the very first sign that a baby is hungry is crying. Well, that’s not true. Crying is a late sign that your baby is hungry. Many other signs can help you know when your baby is hungry. And the signs are:
- Opening of the mouth
- Moving of the head towards the side
- Puckering their lips like they are sucking
- Placing their hands and feet in their mouth
When you notice any of these signs there’s a large chance that your baby is hungry.
3. How frequently should I breastfeed my child?
A newborn should be nursing about 8-12 times a day. And this should be strictly followed in the first month. The good thing about frequent feeding is that it helps improve milk production. When your baby is in the second month then you can nurse about 7-9 times a day. Just make sure that your baby never goes for 4 hours straight without being fed. And this includes over the night as well.
4. How often should I change breasts while feeding?
One of the main reasons why you have to keep changing breasts while breastfeeding is to prevent painful engorgement. When breast milk is stored in the breast for a while without being drained it becomes engorged and painful. That’s why many mothers switch between breasts while breastfeeding. The thing though is that for different women it differs. For some mothers, all they need is just 5 mins on one breast. While some would need as much as 15 mins.
The main point is trying to know how fast your breast can get drained. With this, you would know how long you should feed on one breast before switching. If you tend to forget which breast you last fed your child to try using ribbons or pins. Or you could try writing it in a book so that you would remember each time.
5. How can I know if my child is eating well enough?
For many breastfeeding mothers one of their major concerns is if their child is eating well enough. These are some of the things that would tell you that your child is eating well.
- If your child seems satisfied after eating
- Is gaining weight
- Uses 4-6 diapers a day, and they all get wet
- Sleeps well
- Has proper bowel movements
- Alert when awake
If you have a feeling that your child isn’t getting enough, then you might want to talk to your doctor.
Well, these are the answers we have to the many questions of breastfeeding mothers. Including, how long does it take to produce breast milk?